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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Austin and Lorrie Headland Honored as Gold Bonaire Ambassadors

Last evening on the pier table at Sebastian’s Restaurant, Austin and Lorrie Headland were honored by Rolando Marin, of the Tourism Corporation Bonaire, for their dedicated annual visits to Bonaire.

The couple has been visiting Bonaire each year for over 21 years, and in some years, visited twice.  They hail from Alabama in the United States, and even though they habitually travel to other dive locations, they admit that Bonaire is the destination that they continue to return to year after year.

Both Austin and Lorrie are divers, and underwater photographers as well.  Although they do spend long hours underwater (many dives reach almost two hours in length), they also enjoy just kicking back and enjoying the island.  Over the years, they have made many friends on Bonaire.

Chef Sebastian himself placed their honorary gold medals, when they were dining at his restaurant.

Congratulations, Austin and Lorrie, and continue to visit for many more years!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 29, 2015 at 3:24pm AST
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bonaire’s Tourism (Arriving by Air) Increases Five Percent in First Half 2015

As reported by Statistics Netherlands, Bonaire received five percent more air passengers as tourists in the first half of 2015 than in the same period in 2014.

In the first half of 2015, 68.8 thousand tourists landed on Bonaire, an increase of over 5% compared to the first six months in 2014. April 2015 was an especially high month, when Bonaire saw 1,300 more tourist than the year before for the same month.

More than half of the tourists flying to Bonaire were Dutch nationals. Of this group, 29%lived in the European part of the Netherlands, while the other 25% were Dutch nationals who lived outside of the Netherlands. Those from the United States formed the second largest group of tourists with 23%.

(Source:  RCN)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 27, 2015 at 11:55am AST
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

InfoBonaire, The Bonaire Information Site, Launches New Website

InfoBonaire.com, one of Bonaire’s leading websites for information about the island of Bonaire has recently launched a new website.  View the site at www.infobonaire.com.

Since 1998, InfoBonaire has been providing the latest news and information about tourism to Bonaire.  The new website continues to include important information on planning a visit to Bonaire, including how to get to Bonaire, available accommodations, or activities for your vacation to the island.  However, the new site also has expanded sections which provide glimpses into a Bonaire that many visitors miss.

For example, the new cultural section includes information about Maskarada, Simadan, and other aspects of Bonaire’s culture where tourists are always welcome to join in with the festivities.

The Activities section has been also expanded and now includes information on hiking within Washington-Slagbaai National Park or taking unique tours which are off the beaten path.  (Source:  InfoBonaire)

Those wishing to check availability and rates for their lodging can use InfoBonaire’s One Stop Quote system to send a request to multiple providers.  With just a few clicks, your request is sent to a select group of accommodations including resorts, private apartments, or small boutique properties.

The News & Events section includes a calendar of events for the next year, information about annual events on Bonaire, such as the upcoming Sailing Regatta, and even The Bonaire Insider shares its news via the InfoBonaire.com site.  Those wishing to subscribe to the free news alerts can do so easily on any page of the site.

And what would Bonaire be without its nature?  Bonaire’s underwater environment is well known around the world, but many visitors overlook the terrestrial habitat, which can be just as stunning.  This section on the island’s nature will keep you informed with the latest information--just like Bonaire’s new Yarari Shark & Marine Mammal Sanctuary.

The new web site has over 200 pages of information about Bonaire, and you are invited to spend a few minutes perusing the site.  Navigation is clear and it is easy to find just the information you seek, either through the main navigation or simply search at the top of any page.  The site is fully responsive, so it displays well on any device from phone to tablet or desktop system.

As always, best efforts are made to insure that information is updated as needed, but your comments are always welcome at questions@infobonaire.com.

Posted by Susan Davis on September 15, 2015 at 1:14pm AST
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Monday, July 06, 2015

Explore the Countryside of Bara di Karta With Newly Opened Drive, Hike, and Bike Trails

Visitors to Bonaire habitually are always eager to find new areas of the island to explore, and now that is even easier with the newly opened driving, hiking, and cycling trails of the Bara di Karta area.

Covering a large swath of the eastern coast in the middle of the island, the marked trails offer highlights of nature, culture, and just some fun exploration.  The area is named after a hill named Bara di Karta.

The driving trail is about 15 kilometers (9.5 miles) long and, if driven non-stop with a slow speed (and a slow speed is mandatory), it will take approximately 1.5 hours.  Along the way, signs will point out many of the area’s attributes, as well as some of the attractions which are available (although advance reservations are suggested for visiting some of the local attractions).

After beginning the driving trail, one of the first locations one will encounter is Plantation Washikemba, one of the larger plantations on Bonaire and which was primarily used for the growing and production of aloe vera.  Rumors still persist today that the grand old home is haunted, but the ghost only appears to women.

Another interesting item to view is the longest tree on Bonaire which has a horizontal length of 28 meters (92 feet).  Along the trail, one will see Boka Washikemba (the bay of Washikemba), as well as boulders which were transported inland during past tsunamis, local kunukus, and, of course, lots of cactus!  The trail wends its way along Bonaire’s eastern coastline, offering great photo opportunities of the waves crashing in on the island’s wet ‘n’ wild coast.

To find the beginning of the trails, follow the signs from Kaya Korona and turn east on Kaminda Lagun.  Before you reach the eastern coast, watch for a turn-off on the right side onto a dirt road.  There is a large sign there outlining the trails, and then simply follow the signs for your desired trail:  Yellow for the driving trail, blue for the bike trail, and pinkish red for the hiking trails.

On the next Bonaire vacation, get out and see a new part of the island!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 06, 2015 at 2:49pm AST
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tourism to Bonaire Was Stable in 2014

The RCN has just completed compiling tourism statistics for the island of Bonaire, and all aspects of the island’s tourism were stable in 2014.

In 2014, an average of 11,000 tourists per month traveled to Bonaire by air; for the entire year of 2014, the number was approximately 130,000, around the same number as in 2013. Fewer tourists arrived by plane in June and July than in the same period in previous years, but this was compensated by more tourists arriving in other months of 2014. In 2014, most tourists arriving by air had the Dutch or American (including Puerto Rican) nationality. The share of Dutch tourists has decreased over the last three years.

Day trippers accounted for 13,400 of the approximately 130,000 tourists who flew to Bonaire in 2014 with more than half of the remainder staying for at least one night, the remainder spent seven nights or less on the island, with the highest peak for seven nights. The average number of nights spent by this group of tourists was 9.1. This is similar to the 9.2 nights in 2013. The average length of stay for all tourists arriving by air, including day trippers, was 8.2 nights, both in 2013 and in 2014.

Just as in previous years, in 2014 more tourists arrived on Bonaire by ship than by air. Most--156,000--were cruise passengers. In 2012 and 2013, 158,000 and 142,000 cruise passengers respectively visited the island. In 2014 the average number of passengers per cruise ship was 1,200. Due to small changes in the composition of the cruise ships docking at Bonaire, this average is lower than the 1,500 per ship in 2013. If only comparable cruise ships are taken into account, the average number of passengers per ship in 2014 was similar to that in 2013. More cruise passengers arrived in November and fewer in December than in the same months in 2013. It is not known how many cruise passengers went ashore. The graph below clearly shows that the cruise industry is very seasonal: hardly any cruise ships come to Bonaire in the summer months because of hurricanes. The economic significance of the cruise industry is clearly smaller for Bonaire than that of tourists staying on the island. For example, most cruise ships only stay in Bonaire for one day. In addition, cruise passengers do not use accommodations on the island.

The number of non-cruise ships--motor boats, yachts and other small vessels--that called at Bonaire in 2014 was relatively small: 850, with an average of 3.1 passengers per boat. These boats stayed for 12.7 nights on average. This relatively long length of stay is partly due to the fact that Bonaire has two well-protected harbors: the Harbour Village Marina and the smaller harbor at Plaza Resort. About 50 percent of these smaller vessels stayed in Bonaire for 10 days at the most. (Source:  RCN)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 15, 2015 at 2:44pm AST
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bonaire Does It Again, With Seven Honors in Scuba Diving Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards

Bonaire continues to stand out as a premier dive destination as the island secured seven different awards in the Scuba Diving Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards, including four #1 rankings. For the 22nd consecutive year, Bonaire has maintained its first place position with the #1 Shore Diving Destination. 

In the Caribbean/Atlantic region, the #1 rankings received by Bonaire include Best Macro Diving, Best Beginner Diving, Best Advanced Diving and Best Shore Diving. The #2 rankings include Best Underwater Photography and Best Overall Diving. Bonaire also ranked #4 for Best Overall Destination. 

“Bonaire is extremely proud to receive these top honors as they reconfirm the island’s long held reputation as a diver’s paradise,” commented Malinda Hassell, Marketing Manager of Tourism Corporation Bonaire. “The categories of the awards in which Bonaire won demonstrate that our dive operators and tourism partners are attracting divers of all skill levels and can offer them an exciting array of dive options 24/7.”

In addition to the Readers’ Choice Awards, Scuba Diving magazine also released their annual Top 100 Gold List and Bonaire received 6 rankings; #12 Dive Sites/ Something Special, #30 Shore Dives/Bari Reef, #75 Best Dive Operator/Buddy Dive Resort, #82 Best Dive Resort/Buddy Dive Resort, #91 Best Dive Bar/Karel’s Beach Bar. Rankings are based on the total number of responses, regardless of category and those listed are determined on a “popularity contest” basis.

For the Readers’ Choice Awards, thousands of Scuba Diving subscribers and web users rated their dive experiences on a scale of one to five. Results of the 2015 Awards are featured in the January/February 2015 issue of Scuba Diving magazine.  (Source:  TCB-NA)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 14, 2015 at 1:02pm AST
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pure Bonaire 2015 Calendar Now Available for Purchase Online

The Pure Bonaire 2015 Calender features photography encompassing a wide variety of the Bonaire lifestyle.......from its nature, to sports, and to the island’s culture and people.  By looking at this calendar every day, those who wish for more time on Bonaire can spend it vicariously through the colorful imagery of life on Bonaire. 

This premium calendar features 13.5” x 19” sized pages, coil binding, white interior paper (100# weight), and full-color interior ink.  Bonaire’s holidays for the coming year are noted on the calendar.  It’s the perfect gift for Bonaire aficionados to give to themselves, or as holiday gifts for any Bonaire lover!  The cost of this deluxe calendar is $24.00 and it can be ordered individually or in small quantities online, and the calendar normally ships within five days of placing an order.  To preview the calendar or to make a purchase, visit http://bonaire.me/Zc85(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on November 19, 2014 at 11:40am AST
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Bonaire Re-Introduces Non-Resident Arrival Card

The Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) has recently announced that it has upgraded its system of collecting visitor information data. The new system is already in place. The Bonaire Non Resident Card (BNRC) is similar to the arrival data cards used by other Caribbean destinations.

Bonaire will be using a unique card specifically geared toward the island’s needs for information and data. It will provide invaluable information about the age group, exact area of origin, the port of embarkation, and the life style preferences of those visiting Bonaire.  Several of the airlines with service to Bonaire International Airport (BIA) are now distributing the BNRC cards to their passengers on board each aircraft. All non-residents arriving at Bonaire International Airport are requested to fill in the BNRC card before landing.  The completed cards are then deposited in the specially marked boxes in front of the immigration booths or in the arrival hall next to the baggage claim area. Cards are then collected by TCB for processing.  (Source:  TCB-Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on February 10, 2014 at 12:42pm AST
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Julita Karkowska Receives Coco Palm Loyal Guest Award

Coco Palm Garden recently bestowed their Coco Palm Loyal Guest Award upon Julita Karkowska, from Poland, on the occasion of her tenth visit to Coco Palm Garden. 

After visiting Bonaire for many years, Julita first stayed at Coco Palm Garden in 2004. She’s a passionate diver, and through the years, Julita has introduced many of her friends to the easy diving on Bonaire. On her last trip (January, 2014), she had some bad luck and got a cold and could hardly speak. She didn’t manage to log a single dive this visit, but Julita has already started to plan her next visit in 2015 at Coco Palm Garden.  Thanks for always choosing Bonaire, Julita!  (Source:  Coco Palm Garden)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 30, 2014 at 11:16am AST
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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Bonaire Does It Again with Seven Awards in Scuba Diving Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2014

Bonaire has once again received top honors and secured seven different awards in Scuba Diving Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards, including three #1 ratings, underlining the island’s long held reputation as a diver’s paradise.  For the 21st consecutive year, Bonaire has taken first place for the #1 Shore Diving Destination. 

The #1 Caribbean/Atlantic region rankings received by Bonaire include Best Macro Diving, Best Shore Diving, and Best Beginner Diving. The #2 rankings include Best Overall Destination and Best Marine Environment. Bonaire is also ranked #3 for Best Overall Diving and #4 for Best Visibility.

For the Readers’ Choice Awards, thousands of Scuba Diving subscribers and web users rated their dive experiences on a scale of one to five. Results of the 2014 Awards are featured in the January/February issue of Scuba Diving magazine. (Source:  TCB-North America)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 08, 2014 at 11:17am AST
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